November 14, 2022
The Honorable Richard Durbin
Senate Judiciary Committee
Dear Chairman Durbin:
On behalf of the Alliance for Justice (AFJ), a national association representing 151 public interest and civil rights organizations, I write to strongly support the confirmation of Judge Todd Edelman to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. A seasoned judge with experience as a public defender, labor lawyer, and clinical law professor, Judge Edelman will make an excellent addition to the federal bench.
Judge Edelman has exceptional academic credentials, graduating cum laude from both Yale University in 1990 and from New York University School of Law in 1994. Even as a law student at NYU, Judge Edelman was recognized for his deep commitment to public service when he was selected for the highly competitive Root-Tilden Scholarship.
Judge Edelman has experience in both public interest law and private practice, making him a well-rounded candidate for the federal bench. Before joining the bench, he was an attorney for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, where he spent eight years representing indigent defendants charged with crimes ranging from lower-level offenses to homicide, conspiracy and other serious felonies in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Judge Edelman has said that his time as a public defender was the most influential professional experience he ever had, as it taught him the true impact of the law and the actual implications of the criminal legal system. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Edelman also represented labor unions, pension funds, and individual employees in complex civil litigation at a private law firm. Judge Edelman’s experience in both the private and public sectors has given him important perspective as a judge, as well as the keen ability to understand how both parties to a case interact with the justice system.
Additionally, Judge Edelman has demonstrated a deep commitment to educating the future of the legal profession. As a young lawyer, he worked in Georgetown University Law Center’s Criminal Justice Clinic, supervising third-year law students who were serving as student counsel in misdemeanor cases in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Later in his career, Judge Edelman returned to Georgetown as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law, teaching full-time in the same Criminal Justice Clinic. Judge Edelman currently teaches Torts and Constitutional Law at Georgetown University Law Center and has been a faculty member of the Harvard Law School Trial Advocacy Workshop since 2006. He also frequently volunteers his time as a trainer and lecturer at programs sponsored by various law schools, bar associations, and legal services providers.
If confirmed, Judge Edelman will bring a wealth of experience and perspective to the District Court for the District of Columbia. A fair-minded judge, he understands the importance of the rule of law in the pursuit of justice. His experiences as a public defender, private litigator, and judge make him aptly prepared for the District Court and will bring important perspective and insight to the seat. For all these reasons, I urge you to expeditiously confirm Judge Edelman to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.
President, Alliance for Justice